Turkey selected its third eurovision entry in a national final held on February 24th in Istanbul. Seventeen juries voted and gave a very close victory (by one point only) to Maria Rita Epik & 21. Peron performing "Seviyorum" (I love).
This is what we know for sure before things begin to get a bit fuzzy. Sometime from this time until the distribution of the preview clips, Turkish television decided to withdraw from the contest.
Swedish and Finnish press at this time appear a bit confused as to why Turkey has decided to stay at home. Speculation then, and now, suggests that Turkey, as a muslim nation, was put under pressure from the Arab world not to take part in a contest hosted in Israel.
Turkey would have performed as eleventh in Jerusalem, sandwiched between the Israeli winner and French Anne-Marie David, ending in third place.
It is an educated guess that "Seviyorum" wouldn't have made a huge difference to the final result. Jaunty and upbeat, but possibly a tiny bit bland, it would probably have ended up where Turkey used to end up back in the day.
Far far back.
Maria Rita Epik & 21. Peron - Seviyorum (Turkey 1979, never took part)
PS. Twenty years later, the ESC was again held in Jerusalem. This time Turkey proudly took part in the competition, ending in 16th place with Tuba Önal.